Something Wicked this way comes…

Finished! Minus the three buttons I need to go purchase and sew onto the bottom. I thought 15 would be enough, but I’d be wrong, wouldn’t I?

Overall, very happy with the results of this knit. It fits now–stretches a bit over the belly but that’s fine as I won’t be pregnant forever –and it’s light enough that I should be able to wear it in the “cold” Texas winters. And it makes me smile everytime I try it on to boot. Which in my book makes it a GREAT knit. I’d like to do another one some other time, maybe in a more neutral color or just another color, period. It makes me feel cute. (Yes, I realize I’m not smiling in the picture, it’s about the sweater, not me and DH didn’t warn me he was taking it at that moment. HA.)

So onto the next project. I originally picked up 5 skeins of this super yummy Dream In Color Smooshy in Beach Fog to make a Thermal, but realized that once again, I will almost never wear it as Texas doesn’t get cold enough. BOO. Now, it’s becoming a Tempest from Knitty, which I think I’ll get more wear out of and I can even work on it despite having a huge bowling ball in my stomach. The fingering weight of the yarn should keep me busy for some time as well…just wasn’t in the mood for small projects quite yet so I thought I’d take on another cardigan before using up some random skeins of yarn. I got the first ball wound tonight, should cast on tomorrow, Toddler permitting.

More Wicked Progress

This is the point I was at last night, about two sets of increase rows before I put the sleeves onto waste yarn and started the body. Didn’t get too much further along, about 6 rows before I called it a night. I haven’t worked on the sweater yet today, but I think I’ll hit the waist shaping no problem in a short time. My mind is starting to wander to buttons and what I should do about those, as well as sleeve length. In order to get the most wear out of my sweater now and in the near future, long sleeves are a no-go, 3/4 sleeves likely will not fare much better. I think I’ll do a longer short sleeve so that I can wear my Wicked even in the balmy Southern winters.
Turns out I didn’t need to increase past the L size for the pattern and I think I even came out a couple of stitches shy of that. Pattern really does run on the large size. (Good thing to keep in mind for my other Zephyr patterns I’ll work on later in the year –> next year.)
Have a new sweater crush, strangely enough, from the same woman who wrote out how to convert the Wicked Pullover into a cardigan and seeing hers was what made me have to make mine. http://www.flintknits.com/blog/?p=151 She converted Elizabeth Zimmermann’s “Baby Sweater on Two Needles,” from Knitter’s Almanac into an adult sweater, and what a sweet sweater it is! I think some Dream in Color in Happy Forest is in my future. Serious sweater crush happening over here.

Wicked Cardigan

(Picture was taken a couple of days ago.)
My wicked cardigan it coming along more quickly then I would have originally imagined. Been working at a pace of ~ 100 yards per day since the night I cast on–at this rate, I’ll finish the entire sweater in the next 6-7 days. I am quickly finishing my third skein of the Artyarns Supermerino and almost finished with the ragalan increases. It is also becoming easier to work on and causing me less anxiety since it is looking like it will turn out lovely when finished. It’s much easier to to use a treasured yarn when you know things are looking good for the final product.
I am very happy with the pattern so far: it’s well written and easy to adapt and change if need be. Tentatively, it’s looking like I’ll be making a size somewhere between the L and XL; the beauty of a top-down is that I can do that and do not foresee any problems it will cause. There’s an ~ 40 stitch difference between the two and I’m thinking I may need to do only a couple of extra increase rounds from the large size, maybe hitting the middle of the two numbers. The ribbing down the front gives enough extra stretch that I shouldn’t need to increase to the XL size or else it may become too loose for my liking. (I’m also assuming the button band will give me just a little more give on top of that.) I’m liking this pattern so much that it makes me all the less anxious to use my other patterns from the Zephyr Gals–I’m liking this one so much that I may do it again in the future with another color. Now I just need to learn how to do shortrows for bust shaping so I can cast on for a size that will fit me correctly as their patterns are known to run a bit big.
So far, so good. I’m already trying to line-up what my next project will be and keep working on clearing out my tote. I may do another sock project or two as they seem to take about as much time as a sweater does…though I do have some fingering and sport weight yarns that I keep changing my mind about what to do with them. I bought some SWTC aMAIZing to make a sweater for DD due in September, but I’d like to wait on making her project until closer to her due date or right after she’s born so I get a better feel for which size will get more wear out of it.
And because I’m always thinking ahead, I’ve already started on a project list for 2009. (Sort of had to as my pregnancy killed all my pull-over projects that I already had yarn for.)
Pullovers:
Green Gable (Already have the Cotton Fleece for)
Rusted Root1 with collar mods (Already have the Cotton Fleece for)
Rusted Root2 with collar mods (Already have the Cotton Fleece for)
Cardigans:
Cables and Os (Looking to buy some Knitpicks Cotlin for this one in a newer colorway)
Dinosaur Hoodie for DS (need to decide on fiber and app. amounts)
And I’m sure I’ll have random small projects inbetween. I also plan to make another pullover for DH, but I need to give more thought as to which pattern I for sure want to make for him.

And then a month flies by…

No blog for May, whoops. Oh well, at least I’m trying to avoid four months without an update again. Had another vacation back home, which always puts a kink in the works for a bit. Well, back to updating, I’ve been busy even if I haven’t been blogging about my projects.

I’ve been trying very hard to focus on clearing out pre-existing yarn in my tote and have had some success. Now I have quite a few partial balls of yarn rather then full project amounts–not sure what I’ll eventually do with all of those. (Also had a very small yarn splurge while back home–it’s a tradition, what can I say? We have no LYS around here and I like to go in even if I can’t resist the temptation to buy a little something.–and added two new skeins of TOFUtsies and enough corn yarn to my stash to make a sweater for our little girl due in September. So really, much less was added then I’m using but I definitely have not been keeping my yarn diet resolution as I ought to. Dieting resolutions, regardless of kind, seem destined to fail.)

Finished my Minimalist Cardigan and am overall pretty pleased with it. It fits really well except in the shoulder area where the arm seams fall too far over my actual shoulder and make it look a bit schlumpy. This has been a chronic issue for me with sweaters as to get the bust measurement I need, the shoulder area is usually far too big. At least with a top-down I know how to remedy the issue, but I have to learn how to alter armholes for other sweater types. One of these days, I need to buy a good book on sweater construction and learn how to do more aggressive altering. As I said though, I am happy with it and can’t wait for it to be a bit cooler so I can wear my sweater around more.

After finishing my Minimalist, I decided to finally use the skein of Jade Sapphire Maju Silk I purchased on one of my last two trips back home at MIL’s shop of choice, The Knitting Tree. As I had only 85 yards, I made a modified version of Elizabeth Miller’s “Little Green Clutch” from Interweave’s Holiday issue this past year. I was pretty happy until I got to the actual finishing part. If I make the pattern again, I’m altering the finishing directions so that the ucky looking seams are on the inside where they belong and my bag has a more neat appearance. Also, I think the order given to sew in the zipper and lining should be done differently to make it easier to make it all nice and neat, rather then after the knitting was seamed to make the actual bag. As a small bag to hold knitting accessories, it works just fine. Not sure I’d buy the yarn ever again as it was shedding quite a bit as I knit and wasn’t the easiest to work with. Very pretty though and I love to admire the sheen. Hey, I even found a use for a fat quarter of my quilting fabric stash that had a shade of teal that matched the yarn perfectly. Look Mom, I used fabric! Right before midmonth and our trip, I started the pattern for the first TOFUtsies yarn I purchased from Yarnmarket over a year ago. This is the yarn that started my obsession and love affair with TOFUtsies limited edition colors. It is all the more lovely in person, especially the stockinette sections of the socks. The first sock, I erred on the side of making it a bit too short again, but on the second one, I think I finally figured out where to start the toe decreases. As the yarn stretches with wear, I’m not worried and the two fit just fine. After they’re on, no one is any the wiser. Working this pattern cemented an aesthetic philosophy for me: intricate patterns need plain yarn to highlight their beauty and beautiful varigated yarn deserves a more simple pattern to show off its colorway. Try to mix the two and you end up with a sock that you can’t see the pattern for nor truly appreciate the yarn. Just my humble lil’ opinion, but I think I’m going to stick to it in the future. I’d like to use this pattern again in the future, but in a plain yarn so you can really see the intricate pattern and the way the ribbing branches and the shapes it makes.

And finally, it’s the yarn from the last post. Last night, I took the plunge and gathered all my courage to start my Wicked cardigan. Today, I had to fight with myself for almost a half hour to actually cut the yarn and start the second ball. I had some serious anxiety about it, as silly as that sounds. So far, so good and I’m already almost twice as far as the picture shows. Would have been further along, but I realized 4 rows after the ribbing that I had completely spaced bringing the three twisty ribs down the fronts where the button bands will be. Being the genius I am at times, I thought it surely could not take longer to drop all the stitches down four rows and pick them back up then it would take to rip everything out and reknit. Note to self: ripping would have gone much faster and had neater results. Lesson learned.